There are a few baby-related tasks that can be near-impossible without straining your back, so here is what I do for changing crib sheets.
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1. Buy at least 3-4 crib sheets and 3-4 waterproof pads. I promise that the price of these is far less than a back injury.
2. Take the mattress out of the crib to change the sheets.
3. Layer your waterproof pads and crib sheets over each other so that when the top layer gets wet, you simply remove it and your clean, dry one is already there.
4. As soon as possible, remove the bumper pads. For safety reasons, they are not even recommended anymore. Changing the crib sheet is much easier when there are no bumper pads in the way.
5. Consider using a sheet saver. It is a sheet that actually attaches to the bars of the crib, so it is fairly easy to snap on or off (each sheet has at least 12-15 snaps). There are some safety concerns with this because it does not fit as tightly as a fitted sheet. To get it on or off, it still takes several minutes, and you have to be able to reach all four sides of the crib.
6. For crib sheet selection, buy the T-shirt material ones that stretch a little.
7. Change the sheets for a toddler bed the same way–by taking the mattress out first.